Canning is making a comeback and is a good way to enjoy produce year-round. However, canning needs to be done properly using a USDA-tested recipe to ensure a safe product. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers a program for those interested in learning more about safely preserving food, Preserve the Taste of Summer. This program includes hands-on workshops providing the most current USDA-approved food preservation recommendations.
This summer, Cedar Rapids-area residents will have the opportunity to build their food preservation skills with two different hands-on workshops held at the Kirkwood Culinary Kitchen in NewBo. Cost is $35 per workshop and the registration deadline is one week prior to the class date.
June 8, 1-5pm: Salsa Making. To register visit: http://bit.ly/ptts12888
June 30, 1-5pm: Jams and Dehydrating. To register visit: http://bit.ly/ptts12890
Where can I find a tested recipe for home preserved salsa?
Always choose and use a tested recipe for home preserved salsa.
These recipes have been tested to ensure that there is enough acidity to balance the amount of low acid vegetables in salsa.
The onions, peppers, garlic, and tomatoes are low in acid so they must be combined with a quantity of acid to make a mixture that is safe to process in a boiling water bath canner.
If there is not enough acid in the salsa, the botulism bacteria can grow.
Using a tested recipe and following it without changing the recipe is the only way to guarantee safety.
Safe tested recipes can be found here:
Jams and Dehydrating
Fruit – provides the characteristic color and flavor to the product.
Pectin – substance that causes fruit to gel.
Sugar – important ingredient that must be present in the proper proportion with pectin and acid to make a good gel.
Acid – needed for both gel formation and flavor.
2 methods to safely dry foods at home:
Using a thermostatically-controlled electric dehydrator.
Electric or gas oven (must be able to maintain temperature of 140 - 145°F)
Choose high quality produce, wash, and prepare soon after harvesting.
Fruits: Pre-treatment of lighter-colored fruits is important to prevent darkening.
Cut into thin, uniform slices for even drying.
Place dried foods in tightly closed container.
Stir or shake every day for a week (equalizes moisture).
If food is still too moist, return to dryer.
ISU Extension and Outreach